A Baby Bear Cuscus, One of Earth's Most Endangered Animals, Is Born at Poland's Wroclaw Zoo
February 20, 2021
A bear cuscus has been born at Zoo Wrocław!
Why is this birth so special? Only 4 zoos in the world house this species and only in Wrocław has it been bred successfully. In nature, bear cuscuses live only on the island of Celebes in Indonesia, and soon they may become completely extinct. The bear cuscus is one of the rarest, least known, and most endangered species of animals on Earth!
This animal has a massive body reaching up to 10 kg and 60 cm in length. Its bear-like fur is soft and dark. It has a large head with a short snout, piercing eyes and a pink nose, paws with sharp claws, and a long prehensile tail. It resembles a miniature bear but it is a marsupial. It lives in the rainforests on the island of Celebes. The bear cuscus is an arboreal animal but moves slowly, carefully reaching branches. It feeds mainly on leaves but also likes flowers, buds, and unripe fruits. These animals are not very social, they live in pairs or small groups and communicate via scents and vocalizations. They reproduce as they live-slowly. Although little is known about this process, it has been established that the female usually gives birth to one underdeveloped young per year that lives in her pouch for 6-7 months. The bear cuscus prefers to live in areas untouched by humans. Its inability to adapt to changing conditions makes all the obvious problems such as climate change, deforestation, or poaching even more threatening. It also hampers the research and conservation efforts. Despite such complications, the employees of the Wrocław zoo have successfully bred this species for the fourth time. This is a huge success on a global scale and a confirmation that the bear cuscus can be saved from extinction thanks to zoo breeding programs.
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